Yes! I was amongst that bunch of people who tried using SPB Shell on their Symbian cell phones to have an Android inspired user interface. But who cares! Almost every single person amongst us owns an Android device and the amount of customization that the Android OS allows is beyond the capabilities of any other platform till now. Talking about the Android OS and the thing from the past, we have a launcher or a Home replacement app which combines ease of use and exotic eye candy on the serve to leave an impression of the finest kind! We are talking about the successor to the successful launcher SPB Shell, the Yandex Shell.
Yandex Shell is a home replacement application for the Android mobile operating system and is a major upgrade over the previously SPB Shell. It borrows the beautiful 3D carousel view of the home screen panes as well as a few more tricks but the fresh UI engine takes it far ahead of it’s predecessor. As soon as the app gets done with the first start setup, you are presented with a beautiful and sleek home screen with 5 panes topped up with default widgets.
A pinch in gesture takes you to the 3D carousel mode where you can switch between the home screen panes or add more of them. There are quite a few kinds of panes couriered along with each featuring different sets of widgets that can help you add more of utility to your home layout without much of a fuss. Meanwhile, you can also add up blank panes and get the customizations done by yourself too! Further if you can hold onto your fingers for a few seconds in the carousel mode, the application treats you back with a brief animated description of your personalized home screen.
The application dock at the bottom of the home screen can be edited as well as themed to be colored or monochromatic. You can add your favorite apps to the dock by just a drag and drop gesture while the shortcut to the app drawer remains persistent on the right most part of it. Tapping on the same takes us to the application drawer whose layout can be chosen from either a simple or a tabbed version from the dedicated settings menu within the launcher. The app drawer has been wisely designed to fit in as much of your apps and widgets as possible with a selection of four tabs featuring the apps, launcher widgets, home screen panel selection and the last one which gives access to the stock android widgets too!
Apart from delivering the basics of being a home replacement app, Yandex Shell also provides us with a dedicated dialer and a weather app for the cause which is indeed a big remedy for Sony users like me who do feel a bit bugged off because of the familiar lag whenever we try to access the stock dialer. The weather app is accurate with the cities database being updated with every iteration of the app and has got a really nice looking homesreen pane for the same. A dedicated in app settings menu is always welcome to take us though the personalization and a few more tricks that the app folds under it’s sleeve.
That’s all for what Yandex shell delivers upfront but it delivers at the cost of being a RAM eater. Yes! you will have to shed off a few extra Megabytes from your regular RAM usage in order to fit this thing in and in my opinion, that’s totally alright for the 2013 Android smartphones. It should be taken care of that any sort of UI customization apps may affect your phone’s battery consumption levels as well.
All in all, the Yandex Shell is an almost perfect home replacement app for those who wanna try out more of dynamic eye candy and customizations without shedding off any amount of money for the same! Yes, Yandex shell comes as a free installable in the Play Store and with the amount of improvements it brings over the SPB Shell, it is definitely worth earning a 4/5 from us as it does falls short some times in the form of minor crashes but those things can be polished up anytime!
Yandex Shell Download: Google Play Store(FREE)|Yandex.Shell Homepage